condensed discuss document expanded export feedback print share remove reset document_white enquire_white export_white report_white

Alfred De Bathe Brandon

Portrait, "A New Zealander who dropped bombs on a Zeppelin. A cable message from London under the date of April 3, states that Flight-Lieutenant Brandon on Friday night rose to a height of 6000ft and then saw a Zeppelin 3000ft higher. Rising above the airship, he dropped several bombs, and it is believed three took affect." published in the Auckland Weekly News, April 13 1916, p. 50 - No known copyright restrictions

Portrait, "A New Zealander who dropped bombs on a Zeppelin. A cable message from London under the da …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Alfred De Bathe AWMM
  • Surname
    Brandon AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

Contribute ›
  • Birth
    21 July 1883 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

Contribute ›

Military decorations

Contribute ›

Training and Enlistment

Contribute ›


Contribute ›

Prisoner of war

Contribute ›
  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

Contribute ›
  • Medical notes
    Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
    Injured in flying accident in March 1917 AWMM

Last known rank

Contribute ›

Biographical information

Biographical information

Contribute ›
    • Alfred Brandon was the son of Alfred de Bathe and Louisa (nee Kebbell) Brandon. Alfred Sr was a solicitor and served as Mayor of Wellington, 1893-94.

      Brandon's grandfather, also named Alfred de Bathe Brandon, was an early Wellington settler and crown prosecutor.

      Brandon studied law at Trinity College, Cambridge, UK, before returning to Wellington to work for his father's law firm.

      After the outbreak of war in 1914, he returned to England and joined the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in December 1915.

      He was posted to the Special Reserve unit as a 2nd Lieutenant on 8 December 1915 and qualified as an RFC pilot on 26 February 1916.

      Brandon flew a BE2c single-engine biplane and spent most of his time in the war fighting the German zeppelins. As a Flight Lieutenant, he was somewhat controversially credited with destroying Zeppelin LZ-15 on 31 March 1916 (detractors say ground fire brought the zeppelin down, but he certainly helped to damage it, if nothing else).

      He also severely damaged Zeppelin LZ-33 before it was hit by ground fire and crashed on 23 September 1916. (Note that Haigh & Polaschek incorrectly give this date as 23 August).

      Promoted to Major in January 1918.

      Immediately after the war he was sent back to New Zealand where he assisted in evaluating New Zealand's air defences and prepared a report on landing grounds in 1919. He then quit the military and returned to practicing law.

      He married Ada Mabel Perry at the Cathedral Church of St Paul, Wellington, on 2 January 1942. He was twenty years her senior. They had one son.

      He retired in the 1950s to enjoy his horse-racing, golf, and fishing pursuits.

      Tragically Peter Brandon, his only son, was killed in a road accident in 1969.

      Brandon is noteworthy as being the first New Zealand airman to be awarded the DSO. AWMM
    • Sept 24th anvisual display about himd 25th 2016, we will be having a "Zepfest" at the site of the landing of Zeppelin L33 to mark the centenary of the crash. I have been doing some research in preparation and found Major Alfred de Bathe Brandon's role in chasing the Zeppelin. I am preparing a visual display. Would anyone like to make a contribution? Public - Christine - Researcher - 2 May 2016 - Book.Title Zeppelin Volume 2: Author ray L. Rimel. also
Read more


About death

Contribute ›
  • Death
    19 June 1974 AWMM
    Age 90 AWMM
    Upper HuttWellington AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Obituary: Evening Post 20 June 1974 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



Contribute ›
  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

Remember Alfred De Bathe Brandon by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Alfred De Bathe Brandon

Leave a note

Contribute ›
  • The way his exploits were explained to me make his efforts in downing the zeppelin quite remarkable. I understand he was considered too old for military training, but wanted to fly planes and help in the war effort, so he learned to fly privately before heading into service. The planes were one-person planes, and were one of the few at the time (I gather) capable of flying to sufficient height to go above the zeppelin's. From there he had to drop a type of hand held bomb out of the side of the cockpit. the bombs had a type of hook on it so it could attach to the zeppelin and detonate. I also believe the plane that he flew was donated to the war effort by a private businessman from India (I think). I like how he was so determined to help in the war effort that he just found a way to do it.
    Public - Richard - Other relative - 19 August 2016



Contribute ›
  • External links
  • References
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • Auckland Weekly News AWMM
      Auckland Weekly News, 1916 AWMM
    • The Evening Post AWMM
      Obituary: Evening Post 20 June 1974 AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
15 August 2017JeniferWairarapaResearcher
19 August 2016RichardWellington, NZOther relative
02 May 2016ChristineColchester Essex EnglandResearcher
24 January 2015elliWellingtonOther

The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

Creative Commons LicenseOnline Cenotaph Data by Auckland War Memorial Museum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.